A teenager from Ireland may have found a way to rescue our oceans from the growing plastic pollution problem.
A walk on the beach led Fionn Ferreira to develop his project on microplastic extraction from water for the annual Google Science Fair. The project won the grand prize of $50,000 in educational funding at this year’s event.
For his project, Ferreira added oil and magnetite to water and mixed in a solution emulating plastic waste in the ocean. When the microplastics latched on to the ferrofluids, Ferreira dipped a magnet into the solution three times to remove both substances, leaving clear water.
This young man has come up with a brilliantly simple solution. Whether it can be used commercially is the question.